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Buffalo Sabres game preview: 1/18/19 at Vancouver

STAFF REPORTS


LAST GAME
Wednesday, January 16
Buffalo 4 at Calgary 3 (OT)
Goals: Rodrigues, Dahlin, McCabe, Eichel
Goalie: Ullmark (30 saves/33 shots)
PP: 0/3; PK: 1/3; Shots: Calgary 33 – Buffalo 23

CURRENT INJURIES – (Man Games Lost: 172)Player (injury, first game missed) – total games missedCasey Nelson (upper body, Dec. 8; injured reserve) – 18 games

TRANSACTIONS IN PAST 7 DAYSN/A

UPCOMING GAMESTuesday, Jan. 29: Buffalo at Columbus, 7 p.m.
Wednesday, Jan. 30: Buffalo at Dallas, 8:30 p.m.
Friday, Feb. 1: Chicago at Buffalo, 7 p.m.
Tuesday, Feb. 5: Minnesota at Buffalo, 7 p.m.
Thursday, Feb. 7: Carolina at Buffalo, 7 p.m.

FRIDAY NIGHT'S GAMESABRES at CANUCKS
  • This is the second of two meetings between the Sabres and Canucks this season.
  • Last meeting: Buffalo defeated Vancouver 4-3 (SO) in Buffalo on Nov. 10, 2018
  • The Sabres are 4-6-0 in their last 10 games vs. the Canucks; 2-7-1 on the road.
  • This is the 122nd game all-time between Buffalo and Vancouver; Buffalo has a 50-52-19 series record.
  • The Sabres are 18-31-11 on the road against the Canucks all-time.
THIS DATE IN SABRES HISTORY
  • The Sabres are 12-4-4 all-time on January 18.
  • Four different Sabres goaltenders (Don Edwards, Tom Barrasso, Dominik Hasek, Martin Biron) have earned a shutout on Jan. 18. It is one of only three dates on which the Sabres have recorded four shutouts; the others are Feb. 16 and Nov. 19.
  • January 18, 1984: Tom Barrasso makes 30 saves in his first NHL shutout as the Sabres top the Los Angeles Kings 4-0.
  • January 18, 2008: Derek Roy records his third career hat trick and Drew Stafford records his first in a 10-1 win against the Atlanta Thrashers, marking the 12th game in franchise history to feature two Sabres hat tricks.
THINGS YOU SHOULD KNOW
  • Tonight's game is the final game in a three-game road trip through Western Canada for the Sabres. Buffalo is 10-3-1 against the Pacific Division this season.
  • With a win tonight, the Sabres will have swept the Canucks in a season series for the first time since the teams resumed facing off twice a season in 2013-14. Buffalo's last two-win series against Vancouver came in 1997-98.
  • Johan Larsson is expected to appear in his 300th NHL game tonight.
  • Evan Rodrigues has scored in each of Buffalo's last two games and is seeking his first career three-game goal streak.
  • Sam Reinhart has already set career-high totals in assists (33) and multi-point games (13) this season. The Sabres are 18-7-4 this season when he records at least one point and 28-4-6 (.816) in his career when he records at least two.
HOT AGAINST VANCOUVER
  • Kyle Okposo has totaled 12 points (2+10) in 12 career games against Vancouver, including a point in each of the last four (2+2).
  • Rasmus Ristolainen enters tonight's game with seven points in his last seven games against the Canucks (2+5), including at least a point in each of his last four (0+5).
  • Jeff Skinner has recorded five points (3+2) in his last four games against Vancouver.
  • Rasmus Dahlin recorded his first career multi-point game with two assists when these teams last met.
  • Carter Hutton is 2-1-0 in four career appearances against the Canucks with a .943 save percentage and a 1.80 goals-against average.
DAH-LEAN ON MEEntering play Thursday, Rasmus Dahlin led rookie defensemen and tied for second among all NHL rookies with 26 points (5+21) this season.
  • Rasmus Dahlin enters tonight's game on a career-best, five-game point streak (1+5). He joins Bobby Orr (2x), Phil Housley and Aaron Ekblad as the only defensemen ever to record five-game point streaks before their 19th birthdays. A point tonight would make him the first 18-year-old defenseman to tally a point in six straight games.
  • During his five-game streak, Dahlin has a plus-4 rating, and has averaged 22:10 of ice time and 3.2 shots per game, also boasting a 52.94 percent shot attempt percentage (CF%) during 5-on-5 play.
  • With 26 points (5+21) through 47 games, Dahlin is scoring at a higher rate than he did in the Swedish Hockey League last season, when he totaled 20 points (7+13) in 41 games.
  • Dahlin's current point total puts him on pace for 45 points this season. It would trail only Phil Housley (57 points in 1982-83) for the most ever recorded by a defenseman before his 19th birthday.
NIFTY FIFTYWith his first point on Wednesday at Calgary, Jack Eichel became just the fifth player in franchise history to record at least 50 points in each of his first four NHL seasons, joining Phil Housley, Rick Martin, Gilbert Perreault and Christian Ruuttu.
HEY NOW, YOU'RE AN ALL-STAR
  • Jeff Skinner led all Atlantic Division candidates in fan votes during the NHL's "Last Men In" vote to earn a spot on the Atlantic Division All-Star Team. He will make his second All-Star Game appearance and first since his Calder Trophy-winning season in 2010.
  • Skinner will join Jack Eichel, also making his second career All-Star Game appearance, as the first pair of Sabres to appear in an All-Star Game together since the team had three representatives (Daniel Briere, Brian Campbell and Ryan Miller) in 2007.
COMEBACK KIDS
  • The Sabres are 6-13-2 this season when trailing after two periods. Their six wins when trailing after 40 minutes tied for second-most in the league entering play Thursday and their .286 win percentage in those games tied for fourth.
  • Buffalo's six wins when trailing after two have already surpassed last season's total and leave the team three third-period comebacks shy of the franchise record of nine set in the 2005-06 season.
SCORING WHEN IT COUNTS
  • Entering play Thursday, Jeff Skinner's seven game-winning goals tied for the most in the NHL this season. He is the first Sabres player with at least seven game-winners in a season since Derek Roy (9) in 2008-09 and is four shy of matching the single-season franchise record of 11 shared by Danny Gare (1979-80) and Alexander Mogilny (1992-93).
  • Skinner also entered play Thursday tied for third in the league with three overtime goals this season. Skinner's total matches the Sabres' single-season record shared by Daniel Briere (2006-07) and Derek Roy (2009-10) and ties him for 10th-most career overtime goals in franchise history.
LEADING THE WAY
  • All three of the Sabres' top three scorers are currently on pace to shatter their personal bests in points on the strength of career-best production at even strength that ranks them each among the best even-strength players in the league this season:
Player/Season GP G A PTS ES G ES A ES P
Eichel Career High (2017-18) 67 25 39 64 22 20 42
Eichel 2018-19 44 16 35 51 12 26 38
Eichel 2018-19 (Pace) 79 29 63 92 22 47 68
Skinner Career High (2016-17) 79 37 26 63 30 18 48
Skinner 2018-19 47 30 14 44 23 10 33
Skinner 2018-19 (Pace) 82 52 24 77 40 17 58
Reinhart Career High (2017-18) 82 25 25 50 13 16 29
Reinhart 2018-19 47 10 33 43 9 23 32
Reinhart 2018-19 (Pace) 82 17 58 75 16 40 56
MAKING HISTORY
  • If the Sabres' top scorers continue their current pace, the team would have three 75-point players for the first time since 1992-93 (Pat LaFontaine, Alexander Mogilny, Dale Hawerchuk).
  • At his current pace, Jack Eichel would finish the season tied for the fifth-most even-strength points ever recorded by a Sabre, trailing only LaFontaine (83) and Mogilny (78) in 1992-93, and Gilbert Perreault in 1975-76 (70).
  • Eichel would trail only LaFontaine's franchise-record 52 even-strength assists that season and would become the first Sabre to record at least 90 points since Daniel Briere in 2006-07 (95).
  • Jeff Skinner is currently on pace to tie for the fourth-most goals in Sabres history, trailing only Mogilny in 1992-93 (76), Danny Gare in 1979-80 (56) and LaFontaine in 1992-93 (53). His 40 even-strength goals would finish behind only Mogilny's even-strength total from 1992-93 (49), Rick Martin's 44 in 1973-74 and Danny Gare's 41 in 1975-76 to rank fourth in team history.
SABRES AMONG LEAGUE-LEADERS (Sabres' league rankings before 1/17 games)
  • Buffalo Sabres: 82.1% PK% (9th)
  • Eichel: 179 S (6th), 2 GWG (T-6th), 26 EVA (T-9th)
  • Ristolainen: 25:20 TOI/GP (7th)
  • Skinner: 7 GWG (T-1st), 30 G (2nd), 23 EVG (T-2nd), 3 OTG (T-3rd)
BUF-VAN CONNECTIONSFormer Sabres:
  • Canucks General Manager Jim Benning spent 12 seasons (1994-2006) as a member of the Sabres' front office staff. He spent his first four seasons with the organization as a scout before being promoted to director of amateur scouting. The Sabres drafted F Jason Pominville during Benning's tenure with the team.
  • Canucks F Tim Schaller spent three seasons (2013-2016) with the Sabres organization. He skated in 35 games and recorded five points (2+3).
Sabres with Vancouver connections:
  • Sabres F Sam Reinhart is a native of West Vancouver, British Columbia and played minor hockey at the Hollyburn Country Club and for the Vancouver Northwest Giants. His father is former Canuck Paul Reinhart.
Canucks with Western New York Connections:
  • Canucks D Christopher Tanev (2009-2010) played one season of college hockey at the Rochester Institute of Technology. He was named Atlantic Hockey Conference's Rookie of the Year and earned All-Rookie Team and Third All-Star Team honors.
Nathan Beaulieu:
  • Played with Canucks assistant coach Manny Malhotra in Montreal.
Jason Botterill:
  • Played for the Sabres when Canucks General Manager Jim Benning was the team's director of amateur scouting.
  • Was a scout for the Stars when Canucks assistant coach Nolan Baumgartner and F Loui Eriksson were playing in Dallas.
  • Was the assistant general manager in Pittsburgh when Canucks D Derrick Pouliot and F Brandon Sutter were playing for the Penguins.
Jack Eichel:
  • Won a bronze medal for Team USA with Canucks G Thatcher Demko and F Tyler Motte at the 2015 IIHF World Junior Championship.
Remi Elie:
  • Played with Canucks F Antoine Roussel in Dallas.
Phil Housley:
  • Played with Canucks Head Coach Travis Green in Toronto.
  • Played with Canucks assistant coach Nolan Baumgartner in Washington.
Matt Hunwick:
  • Played in Boston when Canucks General Manager Jim Benning and assistant general manager John Weisbrod were a part of the Bruins' front office staff.
  • Played with Canucks F Josh Leivo in Toronto.
Johan Larsson:
  • Represented Sweden with Canucks F Loui Eriksson at the 2012 World Championship.
Jake McCabe:
  • Played with Canucks G Thatcher Demko and F Tyler Motte for Team USA at the 2016 IIHF World Championship.
Sam Reinhart:
  • Played for Team Canada with Canucks F Bo Horvat at the 2014 IIHF World Junior Championship.
  • Won a gold medal with Canucks D Ben Hutton and D Christopher Tanev while representing Canada at the 2016 IIHF World Championship.
Rasmus Ristolainen:
  • Represented Finland with Canucks F Markus Granlund at the 2012 and 2013 IIHF World Junior Championship.
Conor Sheary:
  • Played with Canucks D Derrick Pouliot in Pittsburgh.
Jeff Skinner:
  • Played with Canucks assistant coach Manny Malhotra and F Brandon Sutter in Carolina.
Steve Smith:
  • Played for the Blackhawks when Canucks assistant coach Newell Brown was on the coaching staff in Chicago.
  • Was an assistant coach in Edmonton when Canucks G Richard Bachman was playing for the Oilers.
Vladimir Sobotka:
  • Played in Boston when Canucks General Manager Jim Benning and assistant general manager John Weisbrod were a part of the Bruins' front office staff.
SABRES REAL-TIME STATS LEADERSHits: Ristolainen (144), Girgensons (70), McCabe (60)
Blocked Shots: Bogosian (77), Ristolainen (75), McCabe (65)
Shots: Eichel (179), Skinner (150), Ristolainen (113)
SABRES' RECORD IN 10 GAME SEGMENTS [W-L-OTL (PTS), GF/GA, PP, PK]1-10: 6-4-0 (12), 26/28, 8/38, 22/30
11-20: 6-2-2 (14), 35/27, 4/28, 26/29
21-30: 5-3-2 (12), 31/32, 5/28, 23/29
31-40: 4-4-2 (10), 24/27, 7/31, 27/29
41-50: 3-4-0 (6), 22/25, 1/20, 11/16
OVERTIME RESULTS (6-5; 119-126 all-time)Oct. 27 at CBJ: L, 5-4 (GWG-Panarin, 0:31)
Oct. 30 vs. CGY: L, 2-1 (GWG-Gaudreau, 2:40)
Nov. 8 at MTL: W, 6-5 (GWG-Ristolainen, 1:38)Nov. 19 at PIT: W, 5-4 (GWG-Eichel, 0:45)Nov. 23 vs. MTL: W, 3-2 (GWG-Skinner, 3:06)Nov. 27 vs. SJS: W, 3-2 (GWG-Skinner, 1:41)Nov. 30 at FLA: L, 3-2 (GWG-Barkov, 2:26)
Dec. 4 vs. TOR: L, 4-3 (GWG-Matthews, 4:57)
Dec. 11 vs. LAK: W, 4-3 (GWG-Skinner, 1:49)Dec. 29 vs. BOS: L, 3-2 (GWG-Kuraly, 3:44)
Jan. 16 at CGY: W, 4-3 (GWG-Eichel, 1:10)
SHOOTOUT RESULTS (3-1; 73-67 all-time)Nov. 10 vs. VAN: W, 4-3 (GDG-Mittelstadt)Nov. 16 at WPG: W, 2-1 (GDG-Sheary)Nov. 24 at DET: W, 3-2 (GDG-Reinhart)Dec. 15 at WSH: L, 4-3 (GDG-Ovechkin)
MILESTONES APPROACHING (Player … Needs … Milestone)Games PlayedJohan Larsson … 1 game … 300 career games played
Sam Reinhart … 4 games … 300 career games played
Zach Bogosian … 6 games … 600 career games played
Rasmus Ristolainen … 7 games … 400 career games played
Marco Scandella … 7 games … 500 career games played
GoalsJason Pominville … 1 goal … 212 goals with Sabres (sole possession, 11th in franchise history)
AssistsKyle Okposo … 4 assists … 300 career assists
Matt Hunwick … 8 assists … 100 career assists
PointsJason Pominville … 1 point … 511 points with Sabres (T-8th in franchise history)
RECENT MILESTONESN/A


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